Saturday, November 22, 2008

Saturday Reruns

I have been writing this blog for just over a month. It is giving me an outlet for expression that I thoroughly enjoy. However, having written about 33 days in a row, I decided to take a break for one day. I plan to do this each Saturday, knowing that it's a day for all kinds of un-bloggy activities in the lives of you, the reader.

Instead of simply not posting, I thought I would use something the TV industry has done for years -- the rerun. Therefore, especially for you who have joined more recently, here is something from my first week. It's titled, "A River Runs Through It."

We had a sermon at Small Group on Monday night.

To explain, let me tell you a bit about our group. First, we're multi-generational. One couple is busily raising two preschool sons. Some have kids in their high school years or just entering adulthood. A few others are enjoying their grandchildren.

Second, most of the group has been directly involved in the armed forces. We have at least three group members who are retired from the military, two others who currently serve and several who spent many years in the service before getting out to follow different pursuits. They have served in places around the world and fought for our freedom in Viet Nam, Iraq and Mogadishu.

One of the group elements I love most is that about half are new/young believers in Jesus or are just getting serious about their faith. We have baptized at least six members of the the group in just the past few years. They approach the Bible with a rare freshness and are unafraid to ask questions or tell us when they don't understand something. It can be a hoot to watch each of them work their way through the pages to find a Scripture passage we're discussing.

Finally, this is the most "real" group I have ever been around in church. They haven't lived nice, churchy lives. Almost all of them have been bruised and battered by about every kind of failure -- their own or the ones they love -- you can imagine.

We had a sermon at Small Group on Monday night.

It started with a prayer request. We had just listened to the pain of one couple. The guy's parents have virtually disowned them. It's as if his mother has developed a mental illness and his dad refuses to face it. She has become like a family wrecking ball demolishing everyone she can swing herself at. That couple's request set the scene for what was to come.

One of the ladies spoke up to ask for prayer for herself as a mom. "I need prayer," she said. Then she broke into sobs. The group gathered around her. Those with the mercy gift reached out and held her hands or put hands on her shoulders. We read Scripture (from James 5). We prayed. She cried.

After the prayer, different ones began to encourage her with practical advice. Some of those speaking are just beginning to learn what the Bible says and how to apply it directly. What they do know about is pain. Oh boy, do they know. They listened. They shared. As group leader, I mostly sat quietly. I was in wonder at what the Body of Christ looks like.

We had a sermon at Small Group on Monday night.


J Trout said...

These are the people who need you. They are real, they won't be at Church on Sunday pretending to be something they are not. They will remember your words and support for the rest of their lives, and will grow from the experience.
Have a beautiful Saturday!

Sam said...

Thanks, J. The truth is, I need them, too. As someone steeped in the church culture for most of my life, they help me understand the way Christians are often perceived. Their insights effect the way I live and the way I communicate.

Ditto -- have a great day!